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U.S. senator introduces new Taiwan defense bill

ROC Central News Agency

06/12/2020 03:33 PM

Washington, June 11 (CNA) U.S. Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a bill named the Taiwan Defense Act (TDA), which is aimed at ensuring that American armed forces can maintain their ability to fend off any invasion of Taiwan by China.

"Yesterday I introduced new legislation to stop #China imperialism, to defend our vital interests and our partner #Taiwan," the Republican senator from Missouri tweeted Thursday.

Hawley later released a statement in which he elaborated that the bill "ensures that the United States is able to continue meeting its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act in the face of the Communist Party of China's aggressive military build-up."

"The TDA requires the Department of Defense to maintain the ability to defeat a Chinese invasion -- and in particular, a Chinese fait accompli -- against Taiwan and to report regularly on its progress toward this goal," he said.

Calling Taiwan the "lynchpin of a free and open Indo-Pacific," Hawley said that "if the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to seize control of Taiwan, it will stand ready to dominate the region.

"This would pose an unacceptable threat to the lives and livelihoods, not just of our Asian allies and partners, but of working Americans here at home," he said. "We must not allow that to happen."

The term "fait accompli" in the 16-page bill is defined as a strategy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) designed to allow it to use military force to seize control of Taiwan before the U.S. Armed Forces are able to respond effectively, while simultaneously deterring an effective combined joint response by the U.S. Armed Forces by convincing Washington that mounting such a response would be prohibitively difficult or costly.

The bill says it is the sense of Congress that the U.S. ability to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific region would be severely compromised if the PRC could compel unification with Taiwan, "particularly if the People's Republic of China were able to do so by military force."

The PRC government "appears to be developing the plans and capabilities required to use the fait accompli strategy to compel the unification of Taiwan" with the PRC, thereby jeopardizing the security and the social and economic system of the people of Taiwan, the bill states.

It says that "denial operations" will have an essential role in any strategy to prevent a fait accompli by the PRC against Taiwan, and that the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act, established in 1979 to continue unofficial links between the U.S. and Taiwan after diplomatic ties were severed, requires the U.S. to maintain the ability to defend against any kind of fait accompli by the PRC against Taiwan.

The proposed TDA suggests that it should be U.S. policy to "maintain the ability of the U.S. Armed Forces to deny a fait accompli by the People's Republic of China against Taiwan."

It therefore demands that the secretary of defense submit reports to the congressional defense committees each year from 2021 to 2026 on the progress of the Department of Defense with respect to improving the ability of the U.S. Armed Forces to conduct combined joint operations to deny the PRC's ability to execute any such kind of fait accompli against Taiwan.

These reports are required to be put forth before April 30 each year during the six-year period, according to the proposed act.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)


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